Horse that Leaps Through Clouds, The: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road and the Rise of Modern China Hardcover – Sep 4 2010
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"A sophisticated journalist indeed, Mr. Tamm gathers observations like gemstones." (Diplomat & International Canada 2011-02-18)
"Tamm's account of his journey has tremendous scope and panache. He unearths what has happened to these regions in the intervening 100 years and his ghost companion, Mannerheim, proves useful as a baseline from which to gauge the changes. Tamm's themes are the vanishing of languages and ways of life, environmental depredation, China's colonization of the hinterlands and, finally, the prospects for its political development...The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds is a serious, generous and enlightening introduction to this huge and infrequently travelled part of the world." (Vancouver Sun 2010-10-02)
"[The Horse that Leaps Through Clouds] is a captivating ride in an area of the world that has gone largely unreported and Tamm is an engaging guide." (Ottawa Citizen 2010-09-29)
"Tamm writes superbly in describing his experiences and he is unafraid to recount conditions as they are, with a critical eye...It is part history, part geography, part anthropology and part cautionary tale." (Waterloo Region Record 2010-09-20)
“An intriguing volume, and…a stirring history.” (Winnipeg Free Press 2010-08-04)
"Following in the footsteps of Baron Carl Gustav Mannerheim, the last Tsarist spy in the so-called Great Game, Tamm has written a grand sweep of a narrative. It combines a long and arduous physical journey -- 9 months and 17,000 kilometers from St. Petersburg across the Tibetan Plateau and the Gobi desert to Beijing -- with the revelations of high stakes history -- espionage in virtually unknown territory in the early years of the twentieth century. At its core, this is a journey into the soul of the Middle Kingdom, and the roots of modern China. Full of wild characters, harsh geography, and historical surprise, Tamm's journey reveals him to be at once an intrepid adventurer, fine writer, and discerning historian. Altogether a wonderful book." (Wade Davis, author of "The Wayfinders" 2010-07-19)
"Overcoming all obstacles, enduring discomforts of deserts, mountains, and overcrowded buses, Tamm, with his historical and cultural perceptiveness, renders an exquisite portrait of continuities and contrasts in the regions Mannerheim and he traversed." (Booklist 2011-04-15)
About the Author
Eric Enno Tamm is an author, journalist and analyst with more than 15 years' experience in the media and non-profit sector. His first book, Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Story of Ed Ricketts, was a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book in 2005. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a master's degree in European affairs from Lund University in Sweden. He currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tamm has used his superb writing skills to provide the reader with an exciting tale of his adventures through the varying cultures, climates and political systems while giving a very good basic history of China and its political and cultural changes in the previous century. It is very evident that Tamm has thoroughly researched the subject and made some very insightful and educated analyses of China past and present while letting the reader draw conclusions on where China is going in the near future.
This book crosses several genres of writing: travelogue, sociocultural studies, politics and history - while actually doing a good job at each. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in these subjects.
Tamm travels to China through many former Soviet countries. Coming from one of those it was really interesting to read how they've managed to go on with their lives, how the Soviet times have influenced their current situation. And it's a bit ironic how he was denied a visa to China when he applied as a Canadian. He had to rely on his Estonian passport that he has thanks to his Estonian-born father.
If you love a good travel story with some historical facts, this book is certainly for you.
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Michael K. Hemp
The History Company